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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" -TONY JOE WHITE FEATURING THE ALBUM "TONY JOE WHITE" IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH THE CAPTAIN'S NARRATIVE - EPISODE # 67 - THE CAPTAIN EXPLORES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACKS TREASURES FOR INSIGHT AND DELIGHT

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” -TONY JOE WHITE FEATURING THE ALBUM “TONY JOE WHITEIN HIGH DEF WITH THE CAPTAIN’S NARRATIVEEPISODE # 67 – THE CAPTAIN EXPLORES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACKS TREASURES FOR INSIGHT AND DELIGHT

“SWAMPY”

TONY JOE WHITE by Tony Joe White (WB, 1971)

From 1959 to 1961, Leslie Nielson (later of Naked Gun fame), portrayed Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, “The Swamp Fox,” for Disney. This was the only reference I had to this name for many years. But, I have to cede the undisputed ownership of that moniker to Tony Joe White, the all-American musical bard from Louisiana, who personified the steamy funkiness of the deep southern soul sound known as “Swamp rock”, and left us with two classic songs: Polk Salad Annie (covered by Elvis), and Rainy Night in Georgia, made a hit by Brook Benton.

And, in case there was any doubt, in this, his first Warner Brothers outing, produced by Peter Asher, TJW offers titles like Voodoo Village and A Night in the Life of a Swamp Fox to seal the deal. This proud son of a cotton farmer from Oak Grove, Louisiana proudly owned his legacy, and No Depression magazine echoed his top status by declaring him “The Real King of the Swamp”. Additionally, Warner Brothers clearly had no desire to remake him in anybody’s idea of a commercial image. This record radiates soulful authenticity. Tony Joe’s chesty vocalizations and stinging, syncopated guitar work deliver hypnotic testimony.

In an interview TJW explained that it was hearing Bobbi Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe, that showed him that he had to write from personal life experience. Taking that cue to heart, he produced a unique, though universal body of work. By combining true to life lyrical insight with a killer delivery, Tony Joe White conjured a Voodoo spell of swampy delight.


By Rich Buckland 08/07/2022 06:06 PM

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